Nelson firm questions coffee cup tax

Cheers! Coffee drinkers can get a discount for using reusable cups in coffee shops. (s)
Cheers! Coffee drinkers can get a discount for using reusable cups in coffee shops. (s)
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A Nelson recycling firm is questioning MPs' proposed tax on take-away coffee cups.

Norpol Recycling Ltd cast doubt on the effectiveness of a 25p "latte levy", which is a charge to be paid by customers in coffee shops for the use of a throwaway cup.

Brad Holt, of Norpol Recycling, said he is unsure the tax will have much of an impact, apart from reducing sales.

"If I wanted to buy a coffee on the move the responsibility would lie with me to dispose of the cup, but I would not want to pay any more for my coffee," he said.

"If a fully recyclable cup was invented and bins provided in convenient locations to dispose of them, then maybe it might work."

To tackle the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups chucked away every year, MPs are even calling for a total ban on the cups unless recycling improves.

"What is the alternative? The local councils and the Government do not seem to have a grasp on efficient recycling with anything. Their answer is to put a tax on it," Brad added.

"Joe public cannot recycle their own waste efficiently as it is.

"What do the rest of the world do? We are not the only country with Costa, Starbucks, Mcdonalds etc."

The #coffeecups mission began after it was revealed that only one to two percent of coffee drinkers were motivated by discounts to bring reusable cups to shops.

"How would [these incentives] work in a drive through McDonalds?" Brad said.

"As a country I think we need to look at the bigger picture and not waste time over coffee cups.

"The situation with China is only going to give us a kick to sort our own recycling out."

Following an 83 percent reduction in use of plastic carrier bags in 2015, resulting from the 5p charge, charity Friends of the Earth is urging Environment Secretary Michael Gove to ban disposable cups that cannot be recycled and force cafe chains to provide recycling bins.